25 Jun 2015

All Black recall likely for Ellis

11:44 am on 25 June 2015

Crusaders halfback Andy Ellis could return to the All Blacks after a four-year absence for the Test match against Samoa on July the 8th.

Andy Ellis

Andy Ellis Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He could be joined in the team by the Chiefs halfback Brad Webber, who's been drafted into the All Blacks wider training squad.

Blues midfield back George Moala and his prop team-mate Ofa Tu'ungafasi have also been added to the group that's practicing in Auckland this week.

Eighteen of the 41 All Blacks named on Sunday are still playing Super Rugby for the Highlanders and the Hurricanes, including the halfbacks Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow was the only other halfback named in the squad although Ellis was listed as injury cover for Kerr-Barlow, who hasn't played any Super Rugby this year.

When asked if Ellis would play against Samoa the All Black coach Steve Hansen said it was "definitely likely," as Kerr-Barlow won't be considered until the Rugby Championship.

"TKB is going to get a club game this weekend. He'll get another club game and then he's going to play for the Maori All Blacks," said Hansen.

"He'll get five games before we even consider bringing him back into the squad. That'll be around the Aussie game."

Ellis hasn't played for the All Blacks since being a part of the World Cup-winning team in 2011.

Hansen says the 31-year-old 28-Test cap veteran is extremely excited to be back.

"It's a dream for a lot of people to be an All Black and when you lose that opportunity you have time to reflect on it and understand how much it really meant."

Brad Webber

Brad Webber Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Weber could also feature in the 23 to play Samoa according to Hansen if Perenara's Hurricanes and Smith's Highlanders win through to the Super Rugby final on July the 4th.

"There'll be some guys we won't consider because of the work load they've had," said Hansen.

"(It's) probably likely we may take him (Weber) if the other two aren't available."